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Indian company offers Linux handheld

Bangalore-based Mistral Software has designed a Linux-based handheld computer around the ARM9TDMI Risc (reduced instruction set...

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Bangalore-based Mistral Software has designed a Linux-based handheld computer around the ARM9TDMI Risc (reduced instruction set computing) processor from Samsung Electronics, which will target vertical markets such as navigation, health care, logistics and hospital management.

"We have made the handheld very customisable, so that we can add modules that make the product more suitable for a specific application without requiring a change in the basic platform," said Anees Ahmed, president and chief executive officer of Mistral.

"For a customer in Europe, for instance, we have added a GPS module so that the device can be used for marine navigation applications."

Called the "Smart Handheld" because it is highly customisable, the device can be configured to incorporate a variety of modules, such as support for GSM, 802.11 a/b wireless Lans, Bluetooth, MP3, PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association), and a hard disc.

The company is offering to customise and license the design to original equipment manufacturers, who will manufacture and sell the product.

The smart handheld is positioned as a customisable platform for multiple applications.

"We are not in the PDA market, as that market is already cluttered," said Ahmed. "While most PDA suppliers have tried to address the vertical market with a one-size-fits-all approach, we offer a design specific to each vertical segment."

The basic platform, which operates as a full function PDA, can be produced for about $130, Ahmed claimed.

John Ribeiro writes for IDG News Service

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